Reader feedback on topical issues

Cannabis, immigration, talent shortages and bullying prompt online commentary
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/30/2019

We get a lot of reader responses online to our content — whether it’s news posts, blogs from our columnists or articles from the magazine. We love to hear from people “in the know” to get their take on the latest trends and issues facing human resources.

Here’s a sampling of the commentary we’ve had recently:

Re: Despite cannabis legalization, impairment testing still hazy

“Employers that deem themselves  ‘safety-sensitive’ will always punish recreational cannabis users. It’s absolutely crazy the amount of employers that have implemented zero tolerance cannabis use since January of this year. They don’t care about impairment at all, just presence in your system. The opioid use is just going to ramp up again, if it hasn’t already.

“Yes, it is still the rights of employers to write their own drug and alcohol policy. Zero tolerance and random testing isn’t going anywhere unless changes to the labour laws are brought forward. I recently failed a pre-screen due to ‘trace amounts of THC in the urinalysis within the last 90 days.’ I used cannabis oil (for stomach issues) five weeks before, but still failed urinalysis.

“The testing method is absolutely arbitrary. It’s like northern Alberta has taken legalization personally and there is now a vendetta against personal off-shift use.” — Anonymous

Re: Talent shortage threatens growth

“The fact that more people from Quebec leave for other provinces is not a surprise to me as we are the most taxed province or state in North America. If you are single or mobile, why not relocate to where your buying power is better?” — Sylvain Nolin

Re: Don’t make election about immigration, corporate Canada tells political leaders

“Why bring immigrants when their credentials are not recognized, they cannot contribute their skills to the economy and they are getting minimum wage jobs?

“Even locally educated people cannot get jobs, because the companies ask for experience (when people just graduated). So most people aged 22 to 30 work minimum wage jobs unless they know someone who can get them a job.

“It’s not what you have or know, it’s who you know that lands you a job in Canada. Sad. Look at the Swiss model and train the workforce instead of asking for experience.” — Anonymous

Re: Builders Code hopes to combat harassment, bullying in construction

“Bullying is an ongoing problem on many construction sites in B.C., which is why many women just don’t stick around on construction sites. And the issue of bullying isn’t being taken seriously enough when reported, from the powers that be on construction sites, to the higher-ups at the companies, to WorksafeBC, to the various tribunals. Workers on construction sites know that nobody will take complaints seriously and we either move on or move out.

“I’m a female worker on construction sites, have spoken to other female workers on sites, and we’ve all had our experiences with bullies which have affected our jobs — and there’s literally nowhere to go for help to alleviate the problems with that.” — Anonymous

Re: Five behavioural economics theories to nudge employees to better health

“Subscribing to already prepared meals is the worst advice ever. How is that healthy? It is the same as eating out. If you want to be healthy and love your body, the only way to keep it that way is to cook at home as much as you can. Look at baby boomers’ health compared to the millennials — who is healthier?” — Kristaps Kuplais

Re: Halifax mayor asks employers to excuse late workers after ‘ultimate sports day’

“Really? Now we are suggesting it is OK to over-indulge and be fit for duty? From a mayor? I would have expected more from a politician to lead our society correctly. I am happy for the teams and the fans who support them, but really?” — Anonymous

Re: Ontario public service employees sue province, unions over alleged racism

“Systemic racism will always exist, and we can’t change racists, but we can learn how to act around them. I, too, experienced harassment from a person in a position of power and a close-minded colleague. As a black woman, they were threatened by my high level of education. Thank God, I managed to move into a different division where we have employees from different races and highly educated people. It took them almost a year to replace me.” — Anonymous

Re: Name-blind recruitment pilot sees mixed results

“I am not sure why the Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) reported that the name-blind recruitment process had no effect on the screening decisions of managers when it came to applications from visible minority groups.

“From the data that they provided, it is obvious that name-blind recruitment did have a significant impact on the screening decisions of managers when it came to applications from visible minority groups. The data clearly shows that, in general, the name-blind recruitment study allowed fewer people to get through to the next stage than traditional methods. 

“However, while in general the percentage of applicants approved is less, you would expect the same rate of reduction no matter if there’s a visible minority or not. In actual fact, the number of candidates screened out was significantly less if they were not a visible minority, whereas if they were a visible minority, the numbers didn’t change much.” — Audrey Foo

Re: Quebec to ban public workers from wearing religious symbols

“This is very disturbing and unacceptable, all in the name of protecting a province’s ‘secular’ image? This is blatant discrimination and the mere fact the Quebec government is activating the rarely used clause indicates that they know what they’re doing is not right. We are going backwards in time rather than moving forward, becoming like the United States more and more each day.” — Anonymous

Re: Ontario reforms police record checks

“I believe this will be a good change for the people who experience barriers when trying to gain meaningful employment, especially those that are considered non-criminal and non-conviction interactions. The hiring process in some companies happens very fast and hiring managers only give a few moments to each applicant they have to process. Helping that process by cutting out all the unnecessary information before it reaches the employer will be a big step.” — Summer Reilly

Re: Reaping the benefits of delayed retirement

“This plan is so out of step with reality. Employers are standing in line to push older workers out the door. Perhaps for the pension contribution savings? And, yes, employers are reluctant to hire older workers.

“So, while this actuarial financial plan makes smart financial and economic sense, until government pushes employers to stop putting older workers on ice floes and pushing them out to sea, or telling them they are ‘overqualified’ for work, this plan will simply increase poverty and hardship for people in their vintage years.” — Alexis Leclair


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